Counselling & Support Information

Care first Employee Assistance Programme – available for all employees  


What is an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)? 

An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is an employer funded benefit that offers employees confidential counselling and advice on a wide range of work and personal issues. 

Who do we use to provide our EAP? 

Care first is the EAP provider we work with.  Their service provides emotional and practical support for issues at home or work and is available online and via a Freephone number 0800 174319 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.   

Access to free information support is also available, again by phoning 0800 174319, from 8am-8pm Monday – Friday. 

How can Care first help me?


Via a freephone service on 0800 174319.  Care first Counsellors are available 24/7 and are accredited to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and support is available in Welsh, via a translation service, if required. 

Care first provides short term, focussed counselling and the Care first Counsellor will assess your circumstances when you call to establish what the most appropriate form of support will be for you. It might be that you just need a brief conversation with the Counsellor that day, or it could be that you may benefit from a few more sessions.  Counselling sessions can be provided either over the phone with the same Counsellor you speak to that day, or based on your assessment, it may be appropriate for you to speak to a Counsellor at a later time (in place of face to face sessions which are currently suspended) or access some online based support.  

The Care first Counsellor will assess you during your initial call and consider your circumstances and presenting issues, in order to determine the most appropriate form of support. In some cases contracted counselling (via telephone, as face to face is currently suspended) may not be the most appropriate or effective form of support for an individual. 

It’s good to remember that the their service is available 24/7 should you wish to receive ad-hoc, in the moment support at any time, and to offer coping strategies at times when you are in crisis or waiting to access a more clinically appropriate model of support.

Welsh speaking counsellors are also available if you’d prefer to access support through the medium of Welsh.    

Information Services  

Care first Information and Advice specialists are available 8am-8pm Monday – Friday to help you find practical answers to real life questions such as; 

  • I am getting divorced; if I leave the house can my ex-partner change the locks, or stop me gaining access? 
  • My washing machine broke the day after its warranty expired, what can I do? 
  • Am I entitled to any kind of support to pay for childcare? 
  • My car has been clamped, what do I do? 
  • My son is at University, his landlord won’t refund his deposit, what can we do? 

Financial, Tenancy, Consumer, Benefits, Employment and Health are just a selection of the areas we can provide support for through the Information Service. Care Information Specialists are Citizen Advice trained and qualified to answer general and regional specific queries. 

What can I use the service for?

Care first is designed to help you with a wide range of work, family and personal issues. From work-life balance to childcare information, relationships to workplace issues, health and wellbeing, Care first can help support you on the issues that affect all of us at some point in our lives. Topics include, but are not limited to: 

  • Work-life balance
  • Elder care information
  • Relationships
  • Life events
  • Childcare information
  • Immigration
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Debt
  • Family issues
  • Diability and illness
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Careers
  • Education
  • Bereavement and loss
  • Consumer rights
  • Stress
  • Workplace pressure
Online Services   
  • The Care first Lifestyle website offers extensive resources including articles on health, issues at home, issues at work, management support tools, stress questionnaires and online counselling in real-time.  

To access, go to the relevant Care first lifestyle webpage and provide this information to log in:

Username: publichealth
Password: employee

  • The Care first Zest website is an online personal and interactive Wellbeing portal which helps you identify which areas of your Wellbeing may need some focus and gives you all the tools, information and support you need to make positive changes. This unique health management resource helps you enhance your Wellbeing and lead a healthier lifestyle. 

To access Zest, please visit  and use the following organisation code: WF1

Is the service confidential? 

We don’t know who uses the Care first service unless you personally choose to tell someone about your contact with Care first.  Care first do provide statistics to show how many employees use the service and the broad types of issues that employees raise with us, for example; ‘relationship breakdown at home’ or ‘bullying and harassment in the workplace’, so no information is ever passed on which could potentially identify you. Nobody will be informed you have contacted Care first, nor will they know what has been discussed.